Revamp of former Johnnie Walker plant could create 1000 jobs

Plans to create a new urban park, shopping area and community hub in Kilmarnock.


More than 1000 jobs could be created as part of plans to revamp the site of a former Johnnie Walker bottling plant.


The project planned for the site in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, which was formerly owned by drinks giant Diageo is set to create a multi-million pound site called the HALO Urban Park.


Diageo have pledged £2m to support the proposed regeneration and to donate the 23 acres of land.


It is hoped the plans will create a commercial, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter for Kilmarnock.


The site is set to include a year-round leisure and water sports facility, health facilities and gyms, shops and cafes, a large public plaza, 175 affordable rented houses and commercial offices.
Work will also include a public space including new road and footpath networks connecting to the rail station and town centre, a hub for businesses and a 1000 capacity education, conference and exhibition centre.


East Ayrshire Council (EAC) approved £2m of support for the project and will now seek a further £10m in financial support for the scheme from the Scottish and UK Governments.


The Halo project is one of a number of regeneration plans the council is putting forward, alongside North and South Ayrshire Councils, for funding of £359m for the whole area.


Marie Macklin, chair of Klin Group, said: “Kilmarnock deserves the very best for this iconic site and that is what we are setting out to deliver.


“We listened carefully to what the people of the town had to say and the HALO Project will provide a fitting and sustainable legacy for the Hill Street site that will last for generations of Kilmarnock residents to come.”


David Cutter, president of Global Supply and Procurement at Diageo, said: “We are delighted to partner with East Ayrshire Council to support this regeneration proposal for Kilmarnock.


“Our ambition has always been to see this site redeveloped to the benefit of the local economy and community.


“Alongside the new college campus which is due to open soon at the site, we believe this regeneration plan will create a positive legacy for Kilmarnock and we hope it will gain the necessary support from the Ayrshire Growth Deal to make it a reality.”


Leader of East Ayrshire Council, Douglas Reid, said: “These proposals are a key element of East Ayrshire Council’s ambitions and will greatly contribute to the regeneration of Kilmarnock, breathing new life into the remainder of site previously occupied by the Johnnie Walker bottling plant.”


Source: STV News

Posted On

October 20, 2016